I haven't linked a "top" list in quite awhile, so I thought I'd take advantage of a lazy Sunday to point out IGN's new "Top 25 Modern PC Games" feature that places The Witcher at #24, Diablo II at #19, BioShock at #16, Mass Effect 2 at #14, System Shock 2 at #13, World of Warcraft at #12, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion at #11, Fallout 3 at #10, Deus Ex at #4, and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn at #2.
Alright, I'm just going to say it. Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn is the best role-playing game of all time. Packed into this experience is such a dizzying amount of content it's difficult to even know where to start. Once you begin this epic tale and uncover bits and pieces of one of the best villains to ever grace a videogame, it's near impossible to stop. Gorgeous art and environmental design, incredibly deep Dungeons & Dragons based combat, and a cast of memorable characters fill out this gigantic adventure. This is a desert island kind of game, the kind of fantasy world you can get utterly lost in and spend upwards of 200 hours exploring, which I did. With sharp writing, a staggering amount of environmental and fictional detail, a gripping plot, seemingly endless strings of quests and dungeons, tons of loot and class abilities, this is the ultimate role-playing experience.Seriously, someone needs to make a modern engine that works identically to the trusty old Infinity Engine. Keep the 2D landscapes and add support for better 3D models, and you could power another half dozen RPGs with it.